Borut Kržišnik Symphonic Orchestra


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Projekt Simfonični Orkester Boruta Kržišnika
Bratov Učakar 46, SI-1000 Ljubljana
Phone386 (0) 59 138118
Borut Kržišnik
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Comprising one man, a digital library of recorded instruments, and an array of sound processing software, the Borut Kržišnik Symphonic Orchestra is a rather unorthodox orchestra and is the product of the artistic vision of Borut Kržišnik, a composer, music producer, guitarist, and mastering and music programmer. Although he used music sampling tools in his earlier work, his virtual orchestra in its full fledged form first appeared on his 1997 album Stories from Magatrea. An unprecedented approach for Slovenia at that time, it did cause some muttering in certain composers circles.

With time, the approach has gotten a wider acceptance and usage and as for Kržišnik, he has continued his artistic path by composing and producing music in this way for innumerable dance performances, theatre plays, ballets, exhibitions, performances, films, and also his own albums. Among the more resounding collaborations of his is definitely his continuous work with the famed director Peter Greenaway, for whose multi-media artistic output Kržišnik has contributed a lot of musical context.

Borut Kržišnik's background

Kržišnik started his musical career as a self-taught guitarist in the late 1980s, when he played for the famed groups Laibach and Borghesia. At that time, he also started composing and wrote his first music for an art exhibition. This was soon followed by writing music for dance and theatre performances, and throughout the 1990s he has done much work with a number of theatre directors, especially Emil Hrvatin and Julie-Anne Robinson, for whom he started composing in the second half of the 1990s. Continuing his earlier involvement in other art practices, he has worked a lot with video artists Nataša Prosenc and Marina Gržinić.

Data Direct

Data Direct was an early project with Borut Krišnik, saxophonist Primož Simončič (also a member of Lolita), clarinettist Mario Marolt, and violinist Vuk Kraković. Only one record, released simultaneously by Front Rock and the German label Discordia in 1995 and called La Dolce Vita, is officially attributed to them, but in fact a more or less similar personal and musical orientation had already been applied for Borut Kržišnik's first album Currents of Time from 1991 (which had been released by a foreign (UK) record company, anticipating his successful international career).

The group's interest concentrated on the exploration of contemporary eclectic music, surpassing any precise definition of genre but generally moving in the coordinates of symphony orchestra, ethereal folk music of the Balkans, and improvised, free or "cool" jazz and avant-garde rock.

On the album La Dolce Vita and also on some live performances Data Direct were joined by the double bass player Giovanni Maier (of the Enrico Rava Group), the saxophonist Hugo Šekoranja, Roman Dečman from the concert formation of Laibach, percussionist Zlatko Kaučič, and pianist Sandra Rekar. Under the name Data Processed Corrupted, they appeared at Ljubljana's Druga Godba Festival in 1993, performed on the Vorax festival in Vicenza and at the Synthesis – Music of the 20th Century festival (Skopje).

Later works for dance, theatre, and film

After the year 2000, his extensive collaboration with Peter Greenaway started. They met when Peter had an ad-hoc music request for his site-specific multimedia installation Map to Paradise from Ljubljana, produced by Muzeum Institute at Ljubljana Castle. This was followed by a number of scores for Greenaway's performances, installations, theatre plays, documentaries, and films. He wrote and produced the score for his film trilogy and multi-media event, the Tulse Luper Suitcases, and its integral version A Life in Suitcases, which were screened at almost all of the important film festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Rotterdam, Tribeca, Toronto, Montreal, Chicago, Philadelphia, Hong Kong, Edinburgh, and many others).

Besides his extensive work with Greenaway, Kržišnik composed music for ballets by Massimiliano Volpini and Isabelle Kralj, worked with the renowned choreographer Edward Clug, and created soundtracks and scores for some Slovene films and documentaries (Pokrajina št. 2 by Vinko Möderndorfer and Fabiani Plečnik by Amir Muratović).

A dance performance recorded in the Slovene parliament for the 20th anniversary of the Slovene constitution. Music by Borut Kržišnik.


After his first two albums with Data Direct, his digital processing equipment (Borut Kržišnik Symphonic Orchestra) was less and less supported by live musicians. Stories from Magatrea, first released by KUD France Prešeren and two years later also put out by the American label Falcata – Galia Recording, was followed by A Life in Suitcases (2005, KUD France Prešeren), which is in fact for the same-named film and the aforementioned trilogy. The next album, Sacre du Temps (2007, Station Zuid), was music he created for the choreographer Edward Clug. His next release, the album Valse Brutal from 2009, is once again a stand-alone musical composition. So is his latest album called "Lightening", which was released in 2013 by the UK based Claudio Record Company.

In more than two decades of musical work, Kržišnik has gone through a myriad of sonic choices, dealing with avant-garde, popular, tonal, atonal, abstract, concrete, improvised, and other music. Through it all he has create a distinctive musical language. As only two of his symphonic works were ever performed "unplugged", by a live symphonic orchestra, he continues working with his Magatrea's Symphonic Orchestra, as he sometimes called it.

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